It’s been a while since we’ve given Jezebel, home of some of the internet’s most unhinged pro-abortion partisans, more than passing references, which is a shame considering that the site was once a near-constant font of unintentional humor and accidental self-discrediting.
But fear not, readers, for Jezebel’s Joanna Rothkopf brings us an attack on pro-life Virginia Delegate Rick Morris for making an impassioned case that abortion is today’s slavery, in which the only wounds that connect are self-inflicted.
MORRIS: With the 13th amendment to our constitution, slavery in America ended; our national sin ended. But every era has its evil, every era has its national sin and the evil of our time is abortion. Our national sin is the murder of our unborn children. And evil is alive. Just as the abolitionists rejected the evil of slavery, I rise to recognize the abolitionists who reject the evil of abortion.
Spoiler alert: at no point is any aspect of this quote, or anything in the rest of the six-minute video, refuted. Rothkopf responds:
Because Virginians have always been on the right side of history when it comes to slavery.
Behold the art of the cheap shot at its finest. If there’s no more connective tissue than the state where this occurred could just as easily be said about any politician of any party mentioning slavery in proximity to any issue. And if anything, it would actually make more sense deployed on Morris’s behalf, considering that as a Republican, he belongs to the party that was created for the express purpose of ending slavery. Indeed, the shame of the country’s past toleration for slavery and why we shouldn’t tolerate its moral descendant of abortion is precisely his point. Rothkopf continues:
It is such an air-tight comparison that I am certain Morris got a great score on the analogies section of his SAT.
Jezebel modus operandi #1: sneer enough about your subject’s alleged stupidity, and you can give the impression of being smarter without actually being smarter, or even correct. All Rothkopf has revealed here is her likely difficulty with the SAT’s essay section, with her inability to show her work or support her contention.
There are, in fact, many clear similarities between abortion and slavery, the most significant of which being that both treat a class of living humans like property on the ignorant, bigoted basis that the victims are somehow less human than the dominant class of the population.
But hey, why bother discussing any of those when a single line of sarcasm is all your editors are really looking for?
Virginia is not a progressive state. Its legislators have recently introduced a number of unnecessary, generally bigoted bills, including one that requires a woman receive a reminder that they might enter combat when enlisting in the National Guard, a bill that would allow a clerk to refuse to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples, and another that formally recognizes that a human life begins at conception.
Rothkopf is, however, more than happy to complain about things other than her article’s subject. The political views of state lawmakers on other issues have absolutely nothing to do with whether Morris is correct here. Heck, he could have personally authored a bill to confiscate every puppy and kitten in the state, criminalize reading, and whatever other cartoonishly-evil things you can imagine, and it still would not follow that abortion is not comparable to slavery.
Instead, all she’s done is demonstrate that she’s looking at everything through a far-from objective lens. The National Guard bill sounds unusual, but while the marriage license one might be legally problematic, neither it nor the human life declaration—which, sorry Joanna, is absolutely correct—are bigoted. And none of them are even applicable as an indictment of Morris personally, since he neither introduced them nor is listed as a cosponsor. This is guilt-by-association in its cheapest, laziest form.
Extra credit: See if you can count how many times Morris says abolootionist instead of abolitionist.
Making fun of how someone pronounces a word; now there’s the mark of a mature, effective critic of anti-choice orthodoxy!
Sure, cutting out some of the schoolyard taunts and replacing them with something resembling argument might have made the piece more thought-provoking. But that’s not what Jezebel’s audience wants.
They don’t want to know they’re right about abortion; they just want to feel they’re right. And nothing unites bullies better than a good power trip against a common victim.